Bosch has developed a new kind of accelerator pedal for cars that vibrates to let you know when to change gear. Called the 'active gas pedal' it's designed to help improve efficiency and will 'push back' to stop you going beyond the most fuel friendly point in its travel.
The pedal aims for the moment where economy and acceleration curves intersect and then issues haptic feedback to let driver's know that they've hit the most efficient position. For those who are unsure exactly what haptic feedback is, most will have experienced it in smartphones which vibrate when you touch the display.
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Road sign recognition cameras can be matched up with the pedal and used to notify drivers via their feet when they might be speeding. The system could also notify you when you're about to drive up a one way street.
Three types of feedback can be used; vibration, counterpressure and knocking. Eventually Bosch hopes drivers will become accustomed to the various haptic feedback messages and respond to each instinctively.
The system could of course be used in performance cars to help with shift times, as an added feature above and beyond the F1-style lights you see on Ferrari steering wheels.
The pedal forms part of Bosch's vision for the connected car of the future. A recent trip to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas revealed just how far car manufacturer's want to take cloud-based car technology. You can read all about it in issue 219 of evo Magazine.